Of course, many of us met and ate with Jody
at the "Iron Cactus" in Downtown Dalllas a couple years ago.
Jody K. Olsen Named Acting Director of the Peace Corps
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 16, 2009 - Dr. Jody K. Olsen
was asked this week by President-elect Obama's transition team to serve as
acting director of the Peace Corps, effective as of noon on Tuesday, January 20,
2009. Dr. Olsen will assume the role of acting director until President Obama's
Administration selects an individual to assume the role of director.
am honored by the trust the transition team has placed in me, and grateful to be
representing the Peace Corps, one of America's finest agencies." said Dr. Olsen.
"From the time I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tunisia up until now in my
role as acting director, it has truly been a privilege to serve the
Dr. Olsen has had a long and distinguished career with the Peace
Corps, beginning as a Volunteer in Tunisia from 1966 to 1968, teaching English
and developing community health programs. In 1979 and 1980, she was Peace Corps
country director in Togo, a program which focused on education, health, and
Between 1981 and 1984, Dr. Olsen served as regional
director for the Peace Corps, managing operations in 17 countries. She returned
to the agency in 1989 to serve for three years as chief of staff, during which
time the agency expanded into 25 new countries. Dr. Olsen returned to the agency
again in 2002 to serve as the deputy director, a position she has held until
becoming acting director.
Dr. Olsen holds a bachelor's degree in
sociology with a teaching certification from the University of Utah, a master's
degree in social work from the University of Maryland, and a Ph.D. from the
University of Maryland's College of Education.
Dr. Olsen has received
numerous awards for her leadership and public service including: the Alumni of
the Year Award from the University of Utah; the Alumni of the Year Award and
Alumni Hall of Fame distinction from the University of Marylands College of
Education; the Marita Houlihan Award (for outstanding efforts and commitment to
fostering international exchange) from NAFSA; and an honorary doctorate in
International Sustainable Development from Michigan Technological University.
As the Peace Corps approaches its 50th anniversary, its service legacy
continues to promote peace and friendship around the world. Historically, over
195,000 Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans
and the people of the 139 countries in which they have served. Currently, 7,876
Peace Corps Volunteers are serving in 76 countries. Peace Corps Volunteers must
be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month